We live in a world where multitasking is celebrated, and in which we are always running between many tasks. As a result we often fail to take the time to pay attention and be in the moment.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgement. We often do not focus on the present, and often place judgements on our thoughts instead of simply observing them.
The mindfulness practice has its roots in Buddhism and has been proven to improve emotional and physical health, because it refocuses the mind.
So here are some health benefits of practicing mindfulness.
1. It lowers stress. There has been research that proves that being mindful lowers the stress hormone cortisol.
2. It changes the brain to protect you against mental illness. Researchers at the University of Oregon found that it can increase signalling connections in the brain and increase protective tissue. It helps against heart disease, can improve your sleep and lower your blood pressure.
3. It helps you accept and deal with your emotions. You will have better control of your emotions and behaviours, which can help deal with depression, OCD and anxiety disorders. It helps you gain perspective on which of your thoughts propel you into a negative cycle. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness reduces depression among various groups of people, including teens and pregnant mothers.
4. You will be more present to savour every moment of your life, instead of dwelling on the past, and worrying about the future.
5. It helps you sleep better. A study at the University of Utah found that people with higher mindfulness had ‘ lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress.”
6. It helps you become a more compassionate and less judgemental person. By being mindful you will automatically become less judgemental of yourself and others around you. You will be able to accept others more readily and lend a non-judgemental and sympathetic ear. The extra goodwill and energy you have, will give you the energy to contribute to society.
So start practicing mindfulness and change your approach to life!
Also Read: Stressed out? Try these 8 de-stressing tips